Why The Denver Nuggets Do The Deal
Firstly, due to a salary increase this summer, Lillard isn’t eligible to be dealt until January 15th. From the Nuggets’ point of view, that’s perfect – they shouldn’t rush into this decision anyway.
They’d have plenty of incentive to wait and see. Firstly, they’d be waiting to see how they looked this year, and secondly, they’d be looking to see how Lillard looked.
After all, these Nuggets are very talented as is. If Murray and Porter Jr. can both bounce back from injuries that kept them mostly shelved in 2021-22, the Nuggets may have no reason to upgrade. It seems likely that if the Nuggets are among the league’s best teams, they won’t make any moves that compromise that chemistry.
Moreover, Lillard is 32, and under contract for a long time. If he shows signs of decline next season, the deal shouldn’t be worth the Nuggets’ time either.
LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers & Denver Nuggets Updates
In other words, this deal requires a very specific set of circumstances to work for the Nuggets. They’d need to be still competitive, but underperforming, while the Blazers were not competitive, but Lillard looked good. Under the same circumstances, should the Blazers do this deal?